Don’t lose sleep over the customer experience…
Lose sleep over the employee experience
Richard Branson spoke the ultimate truth when he said ‘clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of employees, they will take care of your clients.’
Phrased differently, the experience we create for our employees is the experience they’ll create for our clients. Look at any business you consistently have a great experience with and I promise you that its employees have a great employee experience, and the converse is equally true.
Great brands build great experiences from the inside-out. And that’s precisely what they are – built. Great brands don’t just happen, they’re the sum total of everything that influences and affects the employee experience; the compensation they receive, the benefits they have, organisational culture, the working environment, career growth and development. Everything that happens from job wanted ad to exit interview is a series of moments that either enhance or detract from the employee experience.
At its best, these experiences add up to create brand advocacy in how employees speak about your business and the experiences your customers have. At worst, they lead to low employee and customer dissatisfaction and sometimes even reputational damage.
So how do you go about carefully building the kind of employee experience that creates raving fans both internally and externally – the kind that’ll go out of their way to choose your business whether it’s as an employee or service provider? The answer lies in three key areas:
- First, understand the brand experience you want to create and how that translates into the employee experience. Be specific in the qualities, attributes and experiences you want your employees to have. Remember, whatever the internal experience is, will ultimately translate into the client experience.
- Define your Employee Value Proposition against your brand experience, asking yourself how this reflects who you are and how this differentiates yourself in the market. It’s not enough to just have a good experience, you need to go a step further and create a unique experience that reflects your brands and that separates you from your competitors.
- Map out your employee journey through the various stages of their relationship with your organisation, from wanted advert through application and onboarding to career growth and development, through reward and recognition to exit interview. Decide what the moments of truth are and where you’ll focus your attention. Then decide how to make those moments memorable.
‘Yes, it takes considerable time, effort and resources to build great brands but we’re investing in an asset that has great returns on that investment. Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability.’ This finding by Gallup supports the fact that employee engagement consists of concrete behaviour, not an abstract feeling. Why are engaged teams more profitable? Those teams who score in the top 20% in engagement realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism, and 59% less turnover. Engaged employees show up every day with passion, purpose, presence, and energy.
So forget about the customer experience, it’s out of your hands anyway. Rather worry about the people whose hands it’s in – your employees. By taking care of them, you’ll ensure a great brand experience, from the inside-out.